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Working once you leave school - Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Internships, Volunteering

If you are thinking about getting a full time job once you leave school, there are several things you have to consider.

The law says that young people must stay in Education or Training up until the age of 18.  This means that if you decide to work full time (more than 20 hours a week) you will have to combine your job with some sort of training. 

A good way to do this is to consider doing an apprenticeship, which enables you to earn while you learn. 

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job with training, where young people will earn a wage while gaining a nationally recognised qualification. The time an apprenticeship can take varies from one to five years to complete, depending on the type of apprenticeship chosen.

Many young people are looking at this as an option instead of going straight to university from school or college. Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16 living in England. There will be different requirements depending on the type of apprenticeship. A list of apprenticeship opportunities is available here

There are three different types of apprenticeships depending on skills and qualifications; they are the Intermediate (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes), Advanced (equivalent to 2 A' level passes) and Higher (which can lead to NVQ level 4 and above or a foundation degree). To find out more details about entry requirements and salaries visit www.getingofar.gov.uk . More information on how apprenticeships work can also be found on the National Apprenticeship Service website, where you can search for apprenticeship vacancies as well.

If you’re not sure you’re ready for an apprenticeship, and want some experience to boost your confidence and your CV, Traineeships are also an option.

What are traineeships?

Traineeships are for young people who would like to have an apprenticeship or job, who do not yet have the necessary skills.

Traineeships enable young people from 16 to 24 years become work ready. This involves essential training, helping to gain maths and English skills and work experience. For more information please use the following link find Traineeships

Supported Internships

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if appropriate, and English and maths. Click here for further information.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is when you choose to give your time to help others, either in your local community or elsewhere. It can take lots of different forms – formal or informal, individual or in groups, indoors or outdoors. Volunteers contribute a wide range of skills such as administration, IT, care for children/elderly people, accountancy, gardening and sports. Volunteers don’t get paid, instead they get the satisfaction of helping others, a chance to make new friends and an opportunity to develop new skills. If you are you interested in volunteering, or know someone who might be, Mencap has lots of exciting opportunities to try something new, learn new skills and make friends. vInspired is a charity which supports young people aged 14 – 25 find volunteering opportunities within their local area. For more information visit the vInspired website.